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Author: Christina Gayton

Puerto Rico pays off Clean Water Fund debt

As of February 20, 2019, the Puerto Rican government repaid its $194.5 million debt to the Puerto Rico Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs) after a three year effort by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Puerto Rican Government. EPA Assistant Administrator for Water David Ross states that the availability of these funds will enable the SRFs to deposit the money in a trust and begin developing infrastructure projects and sewer sanitation initiatives to ensure Puerto Ricans have access to clean drinking water. The debt initially occurred in 2016 when the Puerto Rico Government...

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Shutdown negatively affects Puerto Rico

On December 22, 2018, the US government began a shutdown as a result of the budget for the next fiscal year remaining unapproved, which occurred this year due to disagreement over Trump’s border wall: a project estimated to cost anywhere from $12 billion to $70 billion. This past month’s partial government shutdown is the longest in US history. It’s economic effects are wide-reaching, including a pronounced economic impact on Puerto Rico. The government shutdown entails closed nonessential offices, no pay for workers of closed offices, and suspended federal funding of parks, monuments, museums, and other areas deemed nonessential. 14,000...

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Puerto Rico’s tax reform, in context

On December 10, 2018, Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló enacted a tax reform bill hoping to put money back into the pockets of Puerto Rican citizens for investment and consumption to stimulate the economy. House Bill 1544, now Law No. 257, primarily updates the “Internal Revenue Code for a New Puerto Rico” to simplify the tax code, and reportedly will give Puerto Rican citizens over $2 billion in tax relief over the next five years. Details of these tax changes include a decrease in the corporate tax rate from 39% to 37.5%, a reduced sales tax on prepared foods...

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The Northern Mariana Islands have the fastest growing economy in the US

For the second year in a row, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) had the fastest growing economy in the US. Although US national GDP only grew by 2.2%, the CNMI boasted a growth rate of a whopping 25% for the 2017 fiscal year. Just the year before, in 2016, the CNMI’s growth rate was 28.6%, while US GDP increased a total of 1.5%. CNMI Governor Ralph Torres (R) describes this consistent, impressive growth as “nothing short of remarkable.” These figures are even more impressive when compared with the territory’s growth rate just 3 years prior: 3.8%...

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PRatian, the Puerto Rican startup seeking to revolutionize agriculture through space tech

The Puerto Rican startup PRatian hopes to utilize space technology to make famine a tale of the past. A shining example of social entrepreneurship, by commercializing space technology PRatian believes this technology can disrupt the agriculture sector for the benefit of society. PRatian’s CEO Axel Garcia was employed by and studied at NASA, where he largely worked on how to grow plants in extreme environments. PRatian’s mission, as stated by Garcia in an interview, is “to not only contribute with our journey to enable deep space travel, but also [ improve ] societies’ capability here on Earth.” Although the...

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